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Research Finds Banana Peels Can Efficiently Remove Toxic Metals From Wastewater

Posted By Jessica Dailey On March 13, 2011 @ 2:25 pm In clean tech,Sustainable Materials,Water Issues | 4 Comments

banana peels clean toxic metals from wastewater, banana peels, green wastewater treatment, eco friendly wastewater treatment

We’ve seen a lot of interesting and inexpensive green methods of cleaning wastewater: algae [1], sewage eating poo-gloos [2], and indoor wetlands [3], just to name a few. But a new method discovered by a group of scientists in Brazil takes the cake for innovation. The team found that minced banana peels quickly and effectively remove toxic metals [4] from wastewater. In fact, the method works better than many leading chemical treatments, and the same batch of peels can be used up to 11 times!


banana peels clean toxic metals from wastewater, banana peels, green wastewater treatment, eco friendly wastewater treatment

Photo credit: Kensaku Kuranaga

With funding from the Sao Paulo Research Foundation [5], the group tested the material in removing copper and lead from water and measured its accuracy by comparing it to results from other materials, like Na-bentonite, AMP-modified silica gel, expanded perlite, and modified peanut husk. All of the testing on these materials was done in previous studies by different groups. For the nitty gritty details and equations, you can read the team’s full report here [4]. The results showed that the banana peels function up to 20 times more effectively than other materials.

As the team points out, banana peels are very attractive as a water purifier because of their low cost and the fact that they do not have to be modified to work. While you would need a ton of peels to implement the system in a large treatment plant, it could easily be used in small scale batches where funding for water treatment is scarce.

Via Clean Technica [6]


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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/research-finds-banana-peels-can-efficiently-remove-toxic-metals-from-wastewater/

URLs in this post:

[1] algae: http://inhabitat.com/researchers-use-algae-to-treat-wastewater-and-generate-biofuel/

[2] poo-gloos: http://inhabitat.com/sewage-eating-poo-gloos-clean-wastewater/

[3] indoor wetlands: http://inhabitat.com/wastewater-treatment-plant-in-san-francisco-is-a-gorgeous-indoor-wetland/

[4] banana peels quickly and effectively remove toxic metals: http://pubs.acs.org/stoken/presspac/presspac/full/10.1021/ie101499e

[5] Sao Paulo Research Foundation: http://www.fapesp.br/en/

[6] Clean Technica: http://cleantechnica.com/2011/03/11/toxic-metals-in-your-water-no-problem-have-a-banana/

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